Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 27th Regular Session

Panel discussion on the role of prevention in the promotion and protection of human rights

Statement by Australia
18 September 2014

Australia thanks the High Commissioner and panel members for their remarks. We welcome this opportunity to encourage strategies at national, regional and international levels to prevent human rights violations.

As the Secretary-General has said, the responsibilities to protect and to prevent are intertwined. The international community’s responsibility to prevent and protect is both collective and urgent. Human rights violations are important early indicators of the potential for atrocity crimes. While States are primarily responsible for preventing human rights violations and protecting their populations, the international community must encourage and help States to meet this responsibility.

Australia believes that strengthening rule of law and accountability mechanisms, and encouraging equitable and inclusive social structures and economic growth, lays the foundation for resilience against grave human rights violations.

Within the UN system, Australia supports the quarterly review of serious human rights violations that provides us with early warning of violations and opportunities to act. We also support the Secretary-General’s Rights Up Front initiative which reaffirms the centrality of human rights to the UN’s activities.

Recent atrocities committed by ISIL demonstrate the brutality of extremist terrorist organisations. We welcome increasing national and international efforts to promote human rights and prevent the spread of terrorist extremism.

We would welcome the panel’s views on what can be done by States to protect vulnerable populations from the threat posed by extremist ideology.